Bartenders, they are the athletes of boozing and the gatekeepers to a good time. To go drinking with one of the best is parallel to shooting hoops with Lebron or a rally with Serena. Sure, you might bust a kidney but the lifetime mems will be worth it. But what is it exactly that makes a trip out with a bartender better than your average Saturday night? We caught up with Alen Nikolovski, GM at Sydney small bar favourite Shady Pines Saloon, to find out.
Here’s Alen’s 6 reasons everyone should go drinking with a bartender at some point in their life, god dammit.
If you’re a serious bartender, you usually know everyone in the industry, you become best mates with guys at other bars and everyone likes to hang out together and visit each other’s venues when your shift is over and just get wild.
Because of this, we know all the great places that pop up before they’re on Broadsheet or any of that kind of stuff. There’s probably still a lot of hidden bars people don’t know about in Sydney because they never really step outside their usual drinking places. We’re always first in the door for a new bar and we’re all about quality. A connected bartender isn’t going to take you to some shitty joint. Plus, we’ll probably be last at the bar too.
2. Learn how to drink properly
Sounds wanky, but just like travelling – when a person that’s been everywhere can give you great advice on where to travel – a bartender can give you proper advice on what to drink. Only difference is you get it first hand, because they’re drinking it with you. If you go to a whisky bar with someone that knows about whisky, you’re going to try some awesome whisky and probably learn a thing or two.
3. They Know people in the industry
As bartenders we don’t go to your average kind of bars that you see on your Facebook feed everyday. We’re very picky to where we like to go and where we like to drink and who we like to drink with. We support our mates bars as well, so everywhere we go people are genuinely excited to see us and soon as we sit down we’ll probably have a shot placed in front of us and then once their shift is over we’ll probably party with them.
It’s just like going over to your mates house really, but better.
4. Skip the queue
I’ll probably get heaps of shit for saying this but at some bars on some days we get to skip the queue. But that only happens when you’ve really done your time and put in the effort. Don’t expect to be hanging out with some guy or girl that’s been bartending for a week and automatically jump the line. We also don’t just expect that to happen just because we rock up, but it’s nice when it does.
5. Way more fun
You know hands down that when you’re drinking with bartenders fun is guaranteed. On average we are just loose humans.
Most of us work 14 hours a day and are constantly on our feet. It can be draining. Because we work so hard, in our downtime when we go out drinking it’s serious business. We don’t drink like normal people, so going out with a bartender can be a shit tonne of fun.
We also don’t take life as seriously as people in 9-5 jobs. We love what we do, but we like to enjoy our lives as well and that we do.
6. Learn better bar etiquette
A lot of people may not realise that they’re actually acting like big dickheads when they’re at the bar. Then again, some probably do and do it anyway. When you go drinking with a bartender you’ll learn proper bar etiquette which includes:
- Never clicking your fingers at staff: I don’t know where that came from, but it’s not the way to get things done and it’s just rude.
- Getting your order done properly: Bartenders hate if you put an order in and you constantly add to it. You’ll slow everything down. Just get your order done properly and at once.
- Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ for fuck sake.
- Tip: For the love of god, please tip.
- If you’re going to Paypass at least look at the person you’re paying: Paypass has ruined manners in hospitality.
A – bloody mary – men.